Today’s post is by , CEO of Fang Digital Marketing.

mobile on enhanced campaigns

This right here is the problem.

Back in February, Google AdWords introduced Enhanced Campaigns, calling it, “marketing for a constantly connected world…designed to help you succeed in this world of constant connectivity.”

At the time, I authored a post on the official Fang Digital Marketing blog cautioning everyone to calm down and just roll with the changes. Then, a few weeks later, I blogged again on the subject, this time addressing six myths that had rapidly popped up around Enhanced Campaigns.

Now, four months after the official introduction of Enhanced Campaigns – and on the verge of Google making Enhanced Campaigns mandatory for all AdWords advertisers – I have slightly changed my position.

I still believe in taking everything with a grain of salt. I still believe that change is almost always a good thing. I still believe there are a lot of good things about Enhanced Campaigns.

But there are a couple of things that irk me about Enhanced Campaigns. More than I thought they would. Allow me to elaborate…

Pain Point 1: The inability to just NOT do mobile

I know, I know. You can turn the “multiplier” all the way down…

I think, at this point, everyone has figured out that mobile is still going to be part of the equation. And more than likely, more and more of the equation as consumer habits and technology continue to evolve.

Let’s face it, though: sometimes, a client just isn’t ready to have mobile as part of their campaign.

In fact, a lot more clients than you might think aren’t really ready to launch a mobile campaign. Because, for starters, they don’t have a mobile-optimized site or app.

The numbers might shock you. A May report by Adobe revealed that a whopping 45% of all companies still don’t have a mobile-optimized site or app. I’m not Stephen Hawking, but I do believe that means that almost HALF of all your potential clients aren’t really ready for a mobile campaign. Or at least their sites aren’t.

And to force a client that is truly dragging its heels on mobile marketing to “get with the program” is just going to be the biggest waste of money you can imagine. Well, depending on how good your imagination is…

I’ve done a lot of paid search audits over the years, including many here at Fang Digital Marketing. And very early on in the process of those audits, I tend to ask the following key questions:

– Are they using mobile ads?

– What happens to their site when looked at on a mobile device?

I’ve saved companies thousands upon thousands a month – just by turning off mobile ads once I discovered they’re lacking a truly mobile-friendly site.

Now, with the Enhanced Campaigns multiplier, the best we can do is to “turn it down” – which just isn’t the same thing.

Luckily, it’s getting easier and easier to get any client “mobile-ready.” But still, there’s always going to be at least one holdout, and I’m afraid the mobile multiplier thing is just going to make us look bad as marketers in the end.

Pain Point 2: Mobile Device/Network Targeting

I keep meaning to bug my Google reps to clarify this hunch, but I’m pretty sure they did away with mobile device/network targeting…just because it really wasn’t used that much.

Sure, it was used some. I know I used it here and there, and I’ve known lots of people in the digital marketing business who have also used it, but I think we all knew it was a feature that very few clients really needed – unless they were in the business of mobile to start with.

We would use it a good bit to help promote apps, or when we had a client whose product had an app that only worked on a certain mobile OS.

Sure, you can still kind of do that with the Keywords features in Enhanced Campaigns, but we all know it’s not really the same thing…

In Closing…

At the end of the day, Enhanced Campaigns aren’t really all that bad. Especially if you ask Google.

Google claims that many “early adopters” of Enhanced Campaigns – including big-name brands like American Apparel – experienced better conversion rates and lower CPCs, while also saving time on campaign management. They also said that several companies who didn’t even bother with mobile targeting in the past are now driving calls and conversions from mobile ads.

And just like I said at the introduction of Enhanced Campaigns, the positive definitely outweighs the negative. That’s pretty much the case with anything Google has ever done, and that’s why they’re Google.

(Of course, that new “Google Crashers” flick with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson playing interns just might prove to be the rare exception here, but if “The Internship” is as weak as the trailers suggest, that’s certainly not all the fault of Google).

I just wish the multiplier could come with a subtractor, so to speak. Because even though we’re at the midpoint of 2013, some clients are still less mobile than a 900-pound gorilla. After a big meal.

jeff ferguson fang digitalJeff Ferguson is the CEO and Lead Consultant of Fang Digital Marketing, a strategic consulting agency that specializes in internet marketing, including search engine marketing, display, social, and affiliate programs.

4 Comments

  1. Dylan June 19th, 2013

    You can still target based on mobile OS, device, and network/carrier under “Mobile devices and tablets” in campaign settings for enhanced campaigns. Unless you’re referring to something else?

  2. Elizabeth Reams June 19th, 2013

    Sort of – its true but just as options. You can’t only target mobile and then choose devices. Default is desktop, but then lets say you only want to target desktop and iphones, you could select ios. Make sense?

  3. Dylan June 19th, 2013

    So, you can target iOS, but it will serve to {all desktops, iPhones, and iPads}; not just {iPhones and iPads}? Or {all desktops, Galaxy S4, Android tablets}, or {all desktops, phones on Verizon, tablets on Verizon}, etc?

    It looks like he’s saying you can no longer target iOS if your app only works on iOS, but even if you’re hitting some desktops, you can still target only iOS devices and not waste money on Android…right? I guess that’s what I’m confused about.

  4. Terry Whalen June 19th, 2013

    I’ve got the same question as Dylan….

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